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Posts Tagged ‘alternative fuel vehicles’

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photo: Think

In The New York Times today, I write about how Stockholm’s congestion pricing system, which charges drivers to enter the city center, has helped triple the number of alternative fuel cars in the Swedish capital:

When Sweden began charging motorists to drive into downtown Stockholm during rush hour, the goal was to reduce traffic congestion, cut greenhouse gas emissions and boost ridership on public transportation.

That has happened, and now a new study has found another benefit from so-called congestion pricing: In the 24-square kilometer congestion zone in Sweden’s capital, the number of registered alternative fuel vehicles, which are exempt from congestion tolls, jumped from five percent of the total vehicle fleet in 2006 to 14 percent in 2008.

“The changes in the make-up of the vehicle fleet are not exclusively due to the congestion tax, but surveys show that exemption from the congestion tax is the single most significant incentive for those buying alternative fuel vehicles in Stockholm,” concluded the report, which was released this month by the Stockholm Traffic Administration.

You can read the rest of the story here.

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header_cngAT&T said Wednesday that over the next decade it will replace 15,000 vehicles, or about 20% of its fleet, with cars and trucks powered by compressed natural gas, electricity and other alternative fuels.

“AT&T is making the largest-ever commitment by any U.S. company to purchase alternative fuel vehicles,” AT&T chief executive Randall Stephenson said Wednesday morning in a speech in Washington.

He said the $565 million initiative will cut AT&T(T)’s gasoline bill by an estimated 49 million gallons and reduce carbon emissions by 211 million metric tons over ten years as its alt fuel fleet grows from about 100 vehicles now on the road. “That’s good for the environment and it will reduce our reliance on foreign oil – my new neighbor Boone Pickens and I have talked a lot about that,” Stephenson said.

Pickens, the Texas oil wildcatter-turned-wind magnate, advocates using natural gas as fuel for cars and trucks rather than to make electricity, which would be supplied by massive wind farms.

“Smart American companies can be green and profitable and they don’t have to trade one for the other,” Pickens said in a statement Wednesday.

The communications giant will spend $350 million to buy 8,000 compressed natural gas, or CNG, vehicles and $215 million on electric hybrid cars made in the United States. That could be a small boost for battered automakers General Motors (GM) and Ford (F). (Of course, it could also be good news for those other leading “domestic” alt fuel manufacturers, Honda (HMC) and Toyota (TM).)

A U.S. car maker will build the chassis for the CNG vehicles and AT&T will have them converted to run on compressed natural gas. The company will also build a network CNG fueling stations. All told, AT&T said 5,000 jobs will be created or saved through the program in the first five years. About 7,100 AT&T passenger cars wi
ll be retired in favor of electric hybrids and other alt fuel vehicles.

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